26 August 2013

{Press Release} Murang Lipad Travel Assistance

The suspension of Zest Air by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) was no secret. This is due to the said airlines' alleged serious deviations and infractions of the rules and standards set by the Philippine Civil Aviation Regulations. With this, various entities and organizations released their sympathy to the passengers stranded and affected by the said cancellations of flights and suspension. This includes Murang Lipad

Travel Assistance to Passengers Affected by Flight Cancellations

Murang Lipad, a division of Triplestar Travel & Tours, announced that it is offering flight reservation assistance to passengers affected by flight cancellations. It services ticket reservation of all major carriers in the Philippines, particularly Tiger Air, Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, Air Asia and Jetstar.

In order for you to avail of the specialised travel assistance, passengers may call the reservations hotline at 849-0100. you may also call Murang Lipad for free by visiting www.muranglipad.com and clicking the WebTalk Button. Their office hours are extended from 8 A.M. to 8 P.M. in order for all the the affected passengers to be accommodated.

Triplestar has 11 ticketing offices nationwide, particularly in Makati, Manila Domestic Airport, Quezon City, SM Clark, Cebu City, Cebu International Airport, Davao City, Davao International Airport, Puerto Princesa, Tacloban and Bacolod. These are all strategically located to cater passengers' immediate travel requirements.

You may also visit their Facebook Fan Page https://www.facebook.com/MurangLipad and you may also follow their Twitter http://twitter.com/muranglipad for more updates.

About Murang Lipad

Murang Lipad is a division of Triplestar Travel and Tours Inc. which is a one-stop portal offering assistance in product and service comparison of the best travel deals.It also aims to offer expert travel advice to consumers about airline tickets, hotel accommodations and travel and tour packages.

It is originally known as leisure Escape Packages, a division of South east Asian Airlines (SEAIR) that provided ancilliary travel services to clients, LEP spun off in January 2009 as a full service travel agency under the name of Triplestar Travel and Tours, Inc. In 2010, it was appointed as the General Sales Agent of Tiger Airways in the Philippines. 

19 August 2013

"A Time To Kill" by John Grisham {Book Review}

The Book

The book A Time To Kill was written by John Grisham in 1987. On June 1988, Wynwood Press bought the book and printed 5000 copies, which was first distributed in the United States. Moreover, the success of Grisham’s other novels: “The Pelican Brief” and “The Client” paved way for “A Time To Kill” to be once again renewed with its previous and new readers. Doubleday republished the latter in hardcover and by Bantam Dell in paperback, which eventually became a bestseller.

photo courtesy
The Author

John Grisham, the author of the book being reviewed was born on 08 February 1955 in Jonesboro, Arkansas and grew up and worked in Mississippi. He graduated from law school in Ole Miss in the year 1981 and consequently went on practice in Southaven, specializing in criminal defense and personal injury litigation. His inspiration to write this novel was drawn from the true story he overheard about a testimony of a twelve-year old rape victim. After Wynwood Press bought his book, this became the start of his writing career.[1]

The Excerpt

            The story of the book revolves in the main characters: Tonya Hailey, Carl Lee Hailey, Jake Briggance, Ellen Roark and Fred Cobb. The story’s setting was in Clanton, Ford County, Mississippi wherein Tonya, a ten year old black girl was raped, beaten and was later on dumped in a foggy creek near Lake Chatulla by two red necks: Billy Ray Cobb and Pete Willard. Through their own mouths, the two felons were caught as they told a story about what they committed while having a drink at Hueys, a bar near Lake Chatulla. Ozzie Walls, Sheriff of Clanton and the only black Sherriff in Mississippi later issued warrants of arrest to the two culprits, who were then detained.

            Carl Lee, Tonya’s father, upon learning what happened to his child went back home and attended to the needs of his daughter. Meanwhile, Carl Lee overheard that a similar incident transpired from a nearby town, where the offender was acquitted. Carl Lee knew that same situation might happen to his daughter. So with the help of his brother Lester and his Vietnam War buddy, Cat Bruster, he planned well how to bring justice into his own hands and kill his daughter’s rapists. He was able to sneak out the courthouse and hide inside the janitorial supplies locker prior the preliminary hearing ensues. Upon being sure that Tonya’s rapists are already proceeding outside the courtroom, Carl Lee suddenly came out with his M-16 and opened fire. Cobb and Willard were dead on the spot while the bullets also caught Deputy Looney, escort of the latter. With that, Carl Lee became phenomenal, being the suspect of a capital murder case and for being a father who killed his daughter’s rapists.

            Meanwhile, Jake Briggance, an Ole Miss 1978 law school graduate, one of the 14 street lawyers in Clanton; the predecessor of Lucien Wilbanks[2]; and has the finest law office became the legal council of Carl Lee. It must be noted that prior the conduct of the crime, Carl Lee has already given Jake a hint on what he was thinking. Jake is a white, yet he takes sympathy and makes friends with the blacks. Likewise, he is known to be liberal. He plays a very sensitive part in the story, wherein all the pressures on defending Carl Lee and saving him from the gas chamber was all put on his shoulders.

            Ellen Roark on the other hand is a Boston College summa cum laude graduate and a law student who became Jake’s assistant during Carl Lee’s trial. She was feisty and a very ingenious anti-death sentence advocate, which inspired her to apply at Jake’s law office upon learning the peculiar case of Carl Lee Hailey. In the story, she became the main researcher of Jake and worked for the latter pro bono.

            Moreover, Fred Cobb the brother of late Billy Ray Cobb, joined the infamous Ku Klux Klan[3] and became the leader of the KKK Ford County Klavern in order for him to avenge the death of his brother and uphold the “supremacy of the white race”. In the story, all people who gives any assistance to Carl Lee and his family was subjected to harassment: burning of crosses in front of Jake’s house and prospective jurors for Carl Lee’s trial, planting of bomb at Jake’s front yard, burning of Jake’s house, beating the husband of Esther[4], beating Ellen and killing of Mickey Mouse[5].

            As the reviewers perceive it, “A Time To Kill” is a legal thriller and may also be treated as a philosophical book that depicts the society’s status in Mississippi during the late 1970s wherein southerners versus northerners tradition, cultural issues, racism, feminism, politics and civil rights advocacy were at its peak. Moreover, a touch of the topic parenting was also noted as well as the justice system that was prevailing during that time. A question of “Does the ends justify the means?” was eminent in the story; leaving the readers think, would you also do kill if it was your child who was abused?



Tonya Hailey – a character that is 3D in form, at the start of the story, it all gyrated how this little innocent black girl was molested and beaten. For the first chapters, Tonya became the center of the novel. On the other hand, every chapter unleashed new issues that as the story progresses; it led to the reviewers’ realization that it was not Tonya that was at the center of the novel. Instead, the author fashioned the character of Tonya become the igniter or main ingredient for the society to tackle several issues that bombard human understanding.

Carl Lee Hailey – Carl Lee’s character was 3D in form. The author emphasized parenting and family ties issue with Carl Lee’s character and depicted him as all natural and human, wherein any father who has a child who experiences the same struggle as Tonya had, will also do the same. The character of Carl Lee also unbridled several issues and revealed a societal concern present during that time: “will a black father and white father have an equal chances with the jury?[6]

Jake Briggance – the reviewers pinpointed that it is the character of Jake Briggance that the author places himself. Like Jake, it may be noted that John Grisham is also a lawyer practicing criminal defense prior becoming a renowned author. Looking at it, though at the start of the story it was the Haileys who were at the center, Jake Briggance eventually became the protagonist covering almost 70 percent of the subsequent chapters and leaving the rape and shooting incidents as supporting facts on the course of the story.
Moreover, Jake’s character was 3D in form who was seen as an unorthodox white and lawyer. It was shown that though Jake’s zeal to defend Carl Lee was there, his mind of using the case to become popular in that side of the United States must not be discounted. Nevertheless, it is with Jake Briggance where John Grisham emphasized that the existing situation in Clanton or in Mississippi per se during the 1970s did and do not compliment with the changing time. It was also with Jake’s character that supports the issues on cultural differences, racism, gender equality and politics.

Ellen Roark – Through Ellen, the author portrayed that being a woman is not deterrence on becoming a good lawyer and that the picture of a woman being weak actually became her strength. With Ellen, the issue of feminism specifically in court proceedings was accentuated.

Fred Cobb – Meanwhile, the character of Fred Cobb depicted the perfect definition of racist and sexist. It is with him that the author placed the antagonist role, which became very methodical in presenting another antagonistic body that was actually present in some parts of the United States during the 1970s, the Ku Klux Klan. Aside from the racism and feminism issues presented by Fred, a family tie was also portrayed, wherein no matter how crooked your siblings lived; Bill Ray was still his brother. Indeed, just like Carl Lee, Fred depicted that “blood is thicker than water.” At some point, he was just also avenging what happened to his brother though he was blinded that Bill Ray did not rape Tonya for the reason that the latter did not admit guilt about the crime.


            Grisham made it perfect for the reviewers to really visualize the critical locations in the story: from a nearby forest area to foggy creek to a small ravine line with kudzu in Lake Chatulla (site where Tonya was dumped after being raped); from janitorial locker to the courtroom’s backdoor stairs (where Bill Ray and Willard were shot); from Jake’s Office/Wilbanks’ Law Office to Lucien Bank’s beach house; from Jake’s prominent house to Carl Lee’s own dwelling and the whole of Clanton, Ford County, Mississippi. It was like Clanton, Ford County Mississippi itself was also a “character” in the novel and not just a mere setting.

            In our discernment, Grisham chose Mississippi as the setting of the story since being a resident of said state, he did see how that same place “grew” with regard to accepting the “blacks” and executing impartial civil rights in the society. Likewise, it may be noted that Mississippi plays a vital part in the history of US civil rights breakthroughs and the setting depicted in the novel was on the 1970s, the exact period when racism (white as superior race), cultural differences and feminism were at its peak.

            With this, it may be then be appreciated that the scenic quality delivered by the author was timely perfect and is deeply close to the situation present during the time the said novel was written, released and distributed.


            As stated in the thesis, “A Time To Kill” addressed:
Racism: That the jury must not magistrate based on the color of the skin but on the grounds, evidences and justifying/mitigating circumstances why a person commits a crime;
Parenting: That a father has the responsibility of defending his children;
Politics: That organizational politics is already part of the system (from Jake, gaining a great publicity on his side being the legal council of the most phenomenal case, which was even tagged as the “trial a lawyers’ dream”; prosecutor’s side, gaining his own share of publicity as well; church pastors/reverends using Carl Lee’s situation to gain money; and again, racial injustice); and,
Feminism: Gender prejudices specifically in the courtroom wherein in the 1970s, limited number of women take a stand in Mississippi as legal councils.

The purpose why this book was written was quite explicit, which maybe connected to the fact that this was the very first book written by John Grisham and because the abovementioned concerns were also the same issues that kept inundating his thoughts as a lawyer and citizen/resident of Mississippi/USA.


With respect to the reviewers’ perception, being parents ourselves, we saw that one of the strengths of the novel was its emphasis on family relations; the blood is thicker than water idea. Second is the “compassion” of the law; that there is justice after all, given the fact that at the end of the day, Carl Lee was declared a free man. Third and the most significant of all, was the ability of the writer to interconnect the prevalent issues encircling feminism, racism and multiculturalism.

On the other hand, the cited weakness of this novel was on the part where it was unveiled how Jake Briggance won the case. The reviewers were able to compare the book with the movie and we saw that the “A Time To Kill” movie adaptation’s ending was more endearing because it was the lawyer Jake Briggance who won the case and not any other jury, which was depicted in the book. Though it is true enough that in Mississippi/US, the verdict lies on the jury, it would have been appealing if it were Jake Briggance’s closing argument that made the jury say “not guilty.”

15 August 2013

SMC Picks for Mommy Skin Care {Short-Product Review}

1. Celeteque Facial Scrub
     I use this every other day which help my skin free from impurities like blackheads and whiteheads as well. It is so natural that you can hardly feel the beads but can vividly see how it cleanses your face. Price: Php95.00 to Php140.00.

     I became a Mary Kay fan just last December 2012. I first tried their liquid foundation and poof! I just found myself loving their numerous products. I use botanical facial wash everyday. It has no smell and is all natural. And take note! It can be used by infanticipating women! Price: $14.00

     As we go of age, we must always keep our skin hydrated. I am more of a morena when it comes to skin color so I do give special attention to my skin's remaining asset (evenly toned, smooth/pimple free and moisturized). I just love this moisturizer because I can readily use it in any type of the day may it be rainy, windy or even in hot summer days. I use my moisturizer twice a day: after taking a bath in the morning and having a shower before going to sleep.

4. Mary Kay Botanical Facial Moisturizer

     MK botanical moisturizer works perfectly just like that of the Celeteque facial moisturizer. I use these two moisturizers alternatively. This is a bit pricey than celeteque but can be used in a longer span of time (which make it cheaper I think).

5. Mary Kay Timewise Liquid Foundation

     After moisturizing your skin, we must protect it from harmful rays of the sun, dirt and stress. Liquid foundation serves as first layer of our skin. Instead of directly catching all the dirt from our activities, it traps first those unnecessary skin pollutants.

     I love having a hot bath. Having a hot bath entails having a nice body wash and Olay body wash gives me this satisfaction. I just love its cucumber smell and the instant moisturizing effects it contribute to my skin. Price: $5.49.

     Lotion keeps us away from having cracked and chappy skin. I use Olay body lotion (partnered with the body was) after taking a bath. Price: $4.99.

8. Celeteque Facial Wipes Make Up Remover

     I have been using light make-up lately specifically when using corporate attire as uniform. After wearing make-up, I do cleanse my face first with celeteque make up remover wipes. Remember, keeping make-up to sleep makes our skin older.

9. Mary Kay Botanical Effects Facial Mask

     This product keeps my skin away from blackheads, whiteheads and pimples. I use it every three days right after using MK Botanical 3 in 1 Facial Wash.

So that's it! Next time I will be sharing some other products which I have already tested and have passed within my standards :) How about you ladies? What do you use to pamper your skin?

04 August 2013

Bags For Breast {Press Release}

The Big C

According to 2012 statistics, Breast Cancer has taken over lung cancer as the most prevalent form of cancer in the Philippines. Aside from ranking number 1 in the polls of having the most number of breast cancer patients in Asia, it was recorded that there are three out of 100 Filipina who suffer from this before reaching the age of 75 and that one out of 100, will die before reaching 75. 

The Letter

October was set as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This topic was already included in my pending post list. But with the letter I received from Chris Palmer, I decide to just post a small article for their advocacy. 

Advocacy: Bags for Breast!

Charitable promise by start up company "Cutey Bags" to donate 10% of first year profits to breast cancer charity.

A new line of luxury leather bags has launched with Love at the core of its brand. Brand "Cutey" has launched a designer line of bags made from the highest quality , ethically sourced Italian leather available.

Affected personally by illness in the family, Breast Cancer is something that founders Chris and Ashley can closely relate too. Therefore they have pledged to donate 10% of all year one profits to Breast Cancer UK to help support their efforts. They are simply going Bags for Breast!

CUTEY is a small UK based Artisan Company. Since launching on Valentine's Day 2013, Cutey has gone from strength to strength, booming in popularity amassing over 400,000 followers in Twitter and 15,000 fans in Facebook.

The methodology behind Cutey's bag is LOVE, CARING and PASSION. Inspired by the most important thing in your life: the ones you love. The Cutey brand represents romance, love and luxury. With all of it's bags named after the most romantic cities and capitals of the world including: Paris, Bruges, Rome, Tuscany, New York, Sta Lucia, Vienna, Venice and Florence.

The bags made from the highest quality ethically sourced Italian leather, are beautifully crafted featuring some Signature Cutey marks such as the Cutey heart shapes zip lock, interior design cutey heart pattern and the  Cutey signature locking device, giving the bag the luxury feel you deserve from a designer handbag.

Cutey offer a Free UK Delivery Service as well as worldwide dispatch, with next day dispatch on all items. The Cutey luxury leather bags are the perfect gift for a loved one or yourself and you don't need to feel as guilty in indulging knowing the profits are going to a great cause.

For full details to include price range, you may visit www.cutey.co.uk.

*Note: This article is free of charge.

03 August 2013

Mommy Mundo Clearance Clear Out Sale 2013 {Press Release}

Hey SMCers! It's already August and just a few weeks away, BER months will once again take over the rest of the year. And just to remind you, BER months also give us aides-mémoires of the holidays and panic shopping. Last year was a lesson learned for me since I wasn’t able to give gifts to some of my godchildren. I was thinking that I will just be visiting them one by one after our New Year’s vacation in Davao but then again, if you remember in my previous post, I did give birth earlier that expected.
Photo Courtesy of Getty
So just last February; I decided that I have to be more time-wise and money-wise specifically now that I am a mother of two. My golden rule: NO RALLYING and LAST MINUTE HOLIDAY SHOPPING.
Photo Courtesy of Gettyhttp://www.gettyimages.com
How about you SMCers? How will you prepare for this year's gift giving? Do you also hit the last minute shopping? Why not break the tradition of rallying? Why not make a list as early as now and go attend money-saver bazaars? I came across an article released by POPSugar Smart Living, which focused on Saving Money During the Holidays. I did love the part of making a list of names and corresponding gifts that you will be giving. As early as now, I already have my tickler and have started making my own list. Aside from the names and corresponding gifts I have listed, I also included some bazaars that offer product with quality but with cheaper price.